JJ Senekal rolled in a birdie putt on the 18th to win this Sunshine Tour SDC Open with a final round of 65 and by four strokes in Zebula.

Casey Jarvis took second place on 21 under par with a closing 67. The young South African threw everything at Senekal during a thrilling back nine in which he chipped in for eagle on the 15th.

The par-three 17th proved the differentiator as Senekal birdied the hole and Jarvis made bogey after missing the green with his tee shot. That gave Senekal a three-shot lead playing the 18th.

He then holed a huge birdie putt on 16 to close to within one shot of Senekal with two holes to play.


“It was very emotional. I put a lot of hard work into this starting from the beginning of last year,” Senekal said afterwards.

“It all comes down to hard work. This means the world to me. I was knocking for quite a while now and this week was a good example of staying patient. Playing good golf and knowing what to do and when to do it,” he added.

JJ Senekal at the SDC Open in Zebula
JJ Senekal at the SDC Open in Zebula

“Keeping Casey off my back was hard. Well done to him. He played an unbelievable round of golf and he really chased me down on the back nine.

“He started firing over the last few holes but I did what I needed to and hit some good golf shots,” he said.

But even with a three-shot lead, Senekal delivered an incredible approach that left him with a two-foot putt for birdie on the 18th.


“It was a big relief. I thought I’d hit it short but once you see the ball next to the hole and you know you’ve got a three-shot lead and are tapping in for birdie. It’s all the pressure off your shoulders. It feels amazing. It’s been five years since my last win. To finally get it done is a great feeling.”

Senekal also won himself a 20-year Zebula Holiday Villa Share worth R320 000.

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